Villanova led most of the way, but clutch shooting from George Mason allowed the Patriots back into the game as they beat Nova 59-57 to advance to the next round of the NCAA Tournament. Just moments after Corey Fisher hit three free throws to restore Villanova's lead, Luke Hancock's three pointer with under twenty seconds left proved to be the game winner. Villanova led by as many six in the final two minutes and this makes their six straight loss.
With five minutes gone in the first half, Villanova took the lead and looked a lot like the team that was ranked #7 in the nation back in January. They would not surrender that lead until the final minute as this collapse is just another heartbreaking chapter in an awful second half of the season which saw Villanova lose 11 of their last 16 games.
The Wildcats settled for a lot of bad shots in the second half and never could seem to get their offense set the way they wanted. Corey Stokes shot just 4-15, Maalik Wayns was only 2-9, and Corey Fisher, who led the team with 20 points, shot 7-17. Altogether, Villanova shot just 37.3%. What's worse, their traditionally strong free throw shooting really seemed to let them down at the end. Nova missed just five free throws all night, but three of those misses came in the final two minutes with Antonio Pena and Mouphtaou Yarou the guilty parties.
The game's hero Luke Hancock led George Mason with 18 while forward Mike Morrison had 10 points and 11 rebounds. The Patriot's bench outscored Villanova's 18-3.